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Past Fellows

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellows
in the Environmental Humanities
2019-2020

Allison Ford (Sociology) “Environmental Politics at the End of the World–Prepping as Environmental Practice”

Allison Ford’s dissertation explores the practice of prepping, in which individuals and families prepare to respond to emergencies, disasters, or the collapse of society, without relying on social institutions such as the state of market. Based on ethnographic data (message boards, blogs, and social media), Ford argues that prepping is an environmental practice because it involves renegotiating the material flows of food, water, energy, waste, and other facets of material life.

Rebekah Sinclair (Philosophy) “Species Trouble: A Pluralist Problematization of the Discourse of Species”

Rebekah Sinclair’s dissertation argues that the species concept is an ethically problematic, historical specific, social and political construction. Working at the intersection of social philosophy, the environmental humanities, biology, and the philosophy of biology, Sinclair’s dissertation develops an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for demonstrating both that “species” is a social construct and that we can effectively question and dismantle it.

 


Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar
in the Environmental Humanities

2019-2020

M Jackson has joined the Center for Environmental Futures for the 2019-20 academic year as the inaugural Mellon Post-Doctoral Scholar. A glaciologist, M earned her doctorate in geography from the University of Oregon, where she examined how climate change transformed people and glacier communities in Iceland. She is a National Geographic Society Explorer (and an Arctic Expert for NGS), a TED fellow, and a three-time Fulbright Fellow (two of which were joint awards with the National Science Foundation). Although she graduated from UO only two years ago, she is already an accomplished scholar and writer. Her award-winning memoir, While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change (Green Writers Press, 2015), traced the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. Her second book, based on her doctoral dissertation, The Secret Lives of Glaciers (Green Writers Press, 2019) explored the profound impacts of glacier change on the human and physical geography of Iceland.

While in residence as a post-doctoral fellow at UO, she will work on a new book project, “Living Blue: Stories of Women and Ice” (written in both English and Icelandic), based on ethnographic interviews with Icelandic women. The book will focus on women’s stories of living in the shadows of receding glaciers and their local knowledge of ice.

 


Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Scholar
in the Environmental Humanities

Winter 2020

Sarah Marak is a PhD candidate and research associate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, at the department of English and American Studies. She is currently working on a dissertation on radical environmental activism, which focuses on the negotiation of ‘eco-terrorism’ in cultural productions from the US from the 1970s to the present. Her research interests include critical terrorism studies, popular culture, history in fiction and film, nostalgia and sentimentality, and ecocriticism. She serves as the project coordinator for the Global Sentimentality Project based in Erlangen and has taught undergraduate classes in cultural studies.

Fall 2019

Nancy Langston joins the Center for Environmental Futures during Fall 2019 as the inaugural Mellon Visiting Scholar in the Environmental Humanities. Langston is the Distinguished Professor of Environmental History at Michigan Technological University. Langston was trained both as an environmental historians and as an ecologist. In addition to numerous professional journal articles, she has published four books. Two of those books focused on Oregon’s environmental history, the prize-winning Forest Dream, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West (University of Washington Press, 1995), which examined the history of forest policy and the cause of the forest health crisis in Oregon’s Blue Mountains, and Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed (University of Washington Press, 2003), which explored watershed restoration and the creation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Her third book, Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES (Yale, 2010), considered how and why endocrine disrupting chemicals have saturated our bodies and our environments, and her most recent book, Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World (Yale, 2017), focused on the interconnected histories of the health of watersheds, humans, and forests in the context of climate change. Langston is a former president of the American Society for Environmental History and a former editor of the field’s flagship journal, Environmental History. She had the honor or a prestigious appointment as the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor of Environmental Science at Umeå University, Sweden, and has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Marshall Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Council on Learned Societies.

While in resident at the University of Oregon, she will work on a new project, “New Mobilities of the Anthropocene: Climate Change, Toxics, and Animal Migrations,” focusing on two iconic migratory species, woodland caribou and common loons.

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